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Warsaw-based ffVC announces €60 million fund for Series A and late Seed investments in Central European startups

ff Venture Capital (ffVC), a New York- and Warsaw-based international venture capital firm, has launched ff Red & White, a new €60 million fund to support startups in Central Europe. The fund will focus on Series A and late seed investments in startups tackling the most pressing challenges facing enterprises and society, in areas such as enterprise software, industrial tech, and sustainability transformation. 

Partnering with JBIC IG Partners, a Japanese investment advisory firm, the fund has already secured the majority of its targeted capital from investors, including several Japanese multinational corporations and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Japan’s policy-based financial institution. ff Red & White is a global joint venture with JBIC IG Partners.

Maciej Skarul, partner at ffVC, says: “This fund will open up a previously unexplored market for Central European startups, and grants Japanese corporations access to cutting-edge European frontier enterprise technologies. We believe there is a unique opportunity for startups aggressively tackling pressing challenges in both regions – ageing populations, changes in global trade and its impact on manufacturing economies, as well as energy dependence.”

The focus on solutions for enterprises is motivated by the complexity of global challenges contemporary businesses face. These require startups to reach for an even higher level of innovation in areas including supply chain management, energy shortages, inflation control, and reducing carbon emissions to meet climate crisis targets. Central European startups are in a unique position to leverage the expertise and skill set necessary to excel in these technologies, but they often lag behind their global peers in terms of access to capital and international exposure.

In addition to filling this gap and providing capital to entrepreneurs with the ambition to go big globally, ffVC’s latest fund is creating a bridge between Central European startups and the major global markets. Alongside ffVC’s well-established US networks, the new fund’s corporate Japanese investors provide access to collaborative opportunities with Japan-headquartered global corporations, allowing them to commercialise their industrial enterprise solutions anywhere in the world. 

Mariusz Adamski, partner at ffVC, says: “With Japan, our strategic presence now extends to the world’s three largest economies, barring China. That reach means we can source better deals, our portfolio companies can grow faster and we are able to create more exit options. This setup allows us to provide Central European pre-Series B startups with unparalleled global opportunities.”

ffVC has already established a framework for European startups to commercialise in the US, and it will extend to this initiative, ensuring that both the startup and corporate sides achieve favourable outcomes. The appointment of two new Japanese partners, Masayuki Ohta and Taro Hizume, both from JBIC IG Partners, will relocate to Warsaw and reinforce ffVC’s new Japanese bridge.

Masayuki Ohta, partner at ffVC, comments: “JBIC IG Partners has identified Central European startups as ideal partners for Japanese multinationals, given the similarity of the economic structures they operate in, the issues they are trying to solve, and the problem-solving profile of its founders. With its presence on the ground on both sides of the Atlantic and track record of building bridges, ffVC was the standout choice of partner to build this new connection between Europe and Japan that will make optimal use of opportunities in both regions.”

In 2020, ffVC launched its first CEE-focused fund and has so far built a portfolio of nearly 20 European companies, becoming the first US VC to open its first European office outside of London. The current fund announced today, its second in Europe, will focus on startups from seven countries: Germany, Austria, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary.

Founded in New York in 2008, ffVC has created a global portfolio of more than 90 companies that have generated over $15 billion of enterprise value to date, including over 30 exits. Notable portfolio startups include Socure and Cornerstone OnDemand. Its investments are five times more likely to raise a Series B than the average venture-funded startup.

Stefano De Marzo
Stefano De Marzo
Stefano De Marzo is the Head of News at EU-Startups. He has been extensively covering startups, venture capital and innovation ecosystems, including contributions to numerous publications such as Sifted, Entrepreneur and Forbes. Through his work as an editor and writer, he continues to shape the narrative surrounding the best stories of the tech world.

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